Monday, October 7, 2013

Solidoodle 3D Printer, 2nd Generation

We're not at the point of being able to do 3D printing in dentistry… yet.  However, trust me when I say we'll get there.  It's only a matter of time.
Currently the 3D printing platform is the realm of the tinkerer and experimenter.  Which, IMO, is good because that's where the innovation that drives industry comes from.
In the not too distant future, we'll be able to take our digital impressions, design a restoration, and instead of CAD/CAM milling it we'll be able to print exactly what we want.
However, that time is not yet here for dentistry, at least not yet.
But, for those of you who love to tinker (you know who you are) a decent 3D printer can be purchased for $499.
Here is the lowdown from the manufacturer:

Now more reliable and accurate than ever!

Clean lines and easy operation - the Solidoodle 3D Printer is the right machine to turn your imagination into reality. Upload a 3D file and watch as the Solidoodle 3D Printer magically creates your part, right before your eyes. This is the printer for people who just want to print, not assemble a machine. The printer comes fully assembled with everything you need to get started - all you need to supply is a computer and power.

As anyone who has assembled a 3D printer from a kit can tell you - the process can be overwhelming... taking weeks and even months before you can even print your first object. At Solidoodle, we take the hassle out of 3D printing by shipping every machine fully assembled and ready to print -- right out of the box.

World Class Engineering

Aside from being fully assembled, what makes Solidoodle great? The Solidoodle 2nd Generation 3D Printer is designed by aerospace engineers to be extremely strong and precise at the same time. The all-steel frame is so strong, in fact, that a 200lb man can literally stand on top of the machine while it's printing. The Solidoodle's moving parts are designed so that they will move smoothly and never bind.

*Shipping Time: Usually Ships within 7-10 business days when listed as "In Stock"

Standard Features:

  • Creates plastic parts up to 6" x 6" x 6"
  • Uses 1.75mm plastic filament (ABS recommended)
  • 11.5" x 11.75" x 11.75" case footprint (L x W x H)
  • Durable metal frame
  • Fully Assembled & Tested

We are offering three different levels of 3D printing experience:

Base Model $499:

  • Everything you need to print - just add a computer!
  • Acrylic Build Plaform - great for small prints
  • 70W power supply
  • Open design (no outer cover/door)

Pro Model $599:

  • Heated Build Platform - allows you to build large prints up to 6x6x6" without bottom warping. 1/8" aluminum plate.
  • Upgraded power supply
  • Redesigned Spool holder to hold filament and eliminate tangles (makes unattended printing much easier)
  • Interior lighting
  • Open design (no outer cover/door)

Expert Model $699: 

  • All the features of the Pro model plus an outer cover & front acrylic door to give your printer a finished look with clean lines


  • The printing software accepts 3D files in STL format - almost all 3D Design Packages can save/export to STL format
  • Open-source software downloadable on our website, see our guide on How To Install Software
  • Simple, intuitive graphical interface
  • Windows, Mac, Linux compatible

What's in the box?

  • Solidoodle 3D Printer, fully assembled & tested
  • Small roll of starter filament (about 0.3 ounces. This is enough for a 1 very small print)
  • Power supply
  • USB Cable

Tech Specs:

  • Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) a.k.a Thermoplastic Extrusion
  • RepRap Sanguinololu v1.3a Electronics
  • Nichrome powered extruder
  • The extruder moves in the horizontal plane (X-Y), build platform moves in the vertical direction (Z)
  • Trouble-free custom acrylic extruder with stepper motor, .35mm nozzle
  • Spring loaded extruder drive virtually eliminates the need for adjusting the extruder - no thumb screws to adjust or release filament
  • Weight: 17 lbs
  • ABS filament recommended, but using PLA is possible
  • Power Supply Works on US Voltage (120V) or European Voltage (240V)


  • The resolution of the printed part is typically determined by the height of each layer
  • Typically we print at a layer height of .3mm, which gives a nice surface finish and quick print time
  • It's possible to print hi-resolution parts at a layer height of .1mm, which produces top-notch looking prints
  • Clarification: the precision of the printhead in the horizontal plane (X-Y direction) is about .011mm (about 2300dpi). However, this number is a little superflous because we are extruding ABS plastic through a relatively larger .35mm nozzle, and all ABS plastic oozes a bit. So a more realistic & practical estimate of resolution in the horizontal plane is about .1mm. And to be crystal clear - this creates great prints. Trying to define the resolution more accurately than this is similar to trying to define the position of a garden hose nozzle to within millimeters - it's essentially meaningless since the water is going to expand anyway.

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